from $1199.00
Tour Map

Tour style – Active & Adrenaline, Trekking/Hiking, Wildlife & Nature, Culture & History, Chill out & Beach

9 days

With over 6,000 islands contained within its borders, the Philippines is one of the largest archipelagos in the world. While we can’t possibly show you all of them in just nine days, this journey through the country’s northern half will feel more than comprehensive enough. Up here, you’ll discover the arresting inland beauty of Luzon, known for world-famous (and incredibly picturesque) terraced rice paddies. Elsewhere, you’ll be treated to a first-person encounter with the unique hilltribe culture that dominates the region, learning about witchcraft and healing arts from a bona fide medicine man. Looking for the road less travelled? It runs through here.
  • Day 1 Manila

    You may arrive at any time on the first day. Please look out for signs in your hotel telling you the details of your group meeting this evening, which is your chance to meet your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the rest of your group before heading out for an optional evening meal.

    The Spanish knew this city as the jewel of their Pacific Empire and Manila is a city that has to be experienced to be understood. Heavily attacked during WWII, Manila has risen again, sprawling across many distinct areas, to claim the commercial and political heart of the Philippines. To dive into the atmosphere of this predominantly Catholic nation, you might like to visit Manila Cathedral, destroyed in WWII but rebuilt in 1951, which faces out onto Plaza de Roma, once the site of a corrida (bullring). For a glimpse into the colonial past, visit Casa Manila, a reproduction of a 19th century Spanish home. Built by Imelda Marcos this is a chance to see some stunning antique furniture and artwork.

    If people-watching is more your thing, then there’s no better place to go than Rizal Park where, every day, locals can be seen jogging, picnicking, or simply hanging out with friends, singing and playing music. You might also chance upon some people practicing arnis de mano, the local form of martial arts which is a pre-Hispanic style of stick-fighting.

  • Day 2 Baguio (1B)

    In the morning we depart from Manila to head to Baguio. Traveling through some lush mountain scenery we reach Baguio. We will arrive in the afternoon and should have some free time to explore Baguio.

    This buzzing mountain town is situated at an altitude of 1,500m and has a much cooler climate than the lowlands consequently was used as the summer capital by the US troops when the Philippines was an American colony. The town is famous for its faith healers and their adherents who congregate here each year with their assorted ailments in the hope of being cured. The city market has a good selection of handicrafts – baskets, textiles and jewellery.

    Estimated travel time: 6 hours

  • Days 3 Baguio/Sagada (1B)

    In the morning we make our way through the mountain province of the Northern Philippines en route to Sagada. It is a popular destination for adventurers, Sagada takes us into the world of the local Igorot people, a people know for their weaving and the unusual burial system of their ancestors- hanging and stacking coffins, hewed from tree trunks, in the limestone karst cliffs and caves near town.

    Estimated travel time: 7 hours

  • Day 4 Sagada (1B)

    Enjoy a full day in this beautiful town surrounded by lush green landscapes. The natural beauty of the area features caves that can be explored, hikes along an underground river system, a waterfall and delightful pool to cool off in after a day of exploring, and a quiet serenity only found off the beaten path. This is a place to sit back, relax and just enjoy.

  • Days 5-7 Batad/Banaue (3B,1L,1D)

    In the morning depart from Sagada and travel by ‘jeepney’ to Batad. ‘Jeepneys’ are a popular mode of public transportation in the Philippines known for their eclectic decorations. Arriving in Batad we are welcomed to a beautiful world of terraced rice paddy fields climbing the mountainsides.

    On Day 6 we take a breathtaking journey by ‘jeepney’ and on foot, using the many hiking trails that divide up the region, to discover the daily lives of the Ifugao people in the local village of Banaue. The trekking here can be challenging, especially in inclement weather. If you don’t feel fit enough for the activity, your CEO can help you organize some optional activities.

    Sometimes called the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, the Banaue Rice Terraces have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built 2,000 years ago by the Ifugaos and still in use today, the terraces are irrigated by mountain streams that have been channeled into canals running downhill through the rice terraces, reaching an altitude of 1500m.

    Day 5 estimated travel time: 3 hours
    Day 6 estimated travel time: 3 hours (2 hours from Jeepney to Batad and 1 hour trekking to the village)

    Day 7 estimated travel time: 9 hours (overnight bus)

  • Day 8 Manila (1B)

    Explore the oldest part of the city – the area known as Intramuros – ‘between the walls.’ with a local guide. It was here that Miguel Lopez de Legazpi built a fort on the site of a ruined Islamic settlement, with walls 13 metres thick and 3km long. Within this protective enclave, the exclusive preserve of the Spanish ruling elite, were 15 churches and 6 monasteries. The imposing Roman Catholic Cathedral is here, and has been rebuilt countless times.

    At the height of its power, Intramuros was feared by Spain’s enemies as the only true European powerhouse in the whole of Asia, but after holding strong against Chinese pirates, Dutch forces, British, American and Japanese occupations, the large majority of the city was destroyed in the Battle of Manila in the closing days of WWII, a battle which also claimed the lives of 150,000 Filipino civilians. A walk through this area, despite the devastation (or maybe because of it) truly gives you a sense of the history of this area.

    Opt to join the group for a final dinner together in the evening.

  • Day 9 Manila (1B)

    Depart at any time.

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